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Our work in the UK's Overseas Territories

The United Kingdom’s Overseas Territories have long been acknowledged as being rich in biodiversity and geodiversity.  They host a diverse range of terrestrial and marine environments that together make a significant contribution to global biodiversity, including a large number of rare and threatened species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world, and a vast array of tropical and cold-water coral reefs.

Many of the the UK’s inhabited Overseas Territories are small, remote islands. They provide a home to 220,000 people who are reliant on their natural environment, and the benefits that it provides, for their economic welfare and their security. Despite the remoteness of the islands, these natural environments are threatened, often as a result of development, but also from the natural disasters that the islands’ natural environments can help protect against.

JNCC has been working with the UK’s Overseas Territories for over 20 years.  We provide technical assistance to support their biodiversity and wider environmental management strategies.  We also provide scientific advice to the UK Government, which provides support to the Overseas Territories to manage their environment and enhance economic security and disaster resilience through a variety of policy initiatives and funding programmes.

Our approach is participatory, with a high level of engagement with stakeholders in the territories.  This enables us to tailor the work to individual territory priorities and to maximise the long-term benefits. 

We facilitate regional partnerships to share approaches and understanding, and have an officer based permanently in the Falklands who provides links into the South Atlantic and adjacent South American states.  Through our approach we emphasise capacity building as a means to reducing Territories' dependence on outside assistance in developing and implementing environmental management programmes and policies.

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Earth observation image of Grand Turk © Global Digital

    Leading in the application of new techniques, technologies, and data management. Our expertise in Earth observation is enabling us to efficiently generate up-to-date habitat maps of the Overseas Territories to underpin management plans.

     

  • UK countryside landscape featuring large round hay bales © Richard Digimist/Creative Commons License

    Undertaking studies and developing tools that can be used to evaluate the benefits provided by different habitats, and to assess land-use choices.  In the Overseas Territories, this work has considered the value of coastal habitats in disaster mitigation.

  • © JNCC

    Promoting a sustainable development approach in the Overseas Territories, based on a sound understanding of the value of the natural environment, and the benefits it provides.  This enables aspirations for economic growth to be met, without compromising the ability of the environment to deliver these benefits. 

     

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